Display numbers in scientific (exponential) notation

The Scientific format displays a number in exponential notation, replacing part of the number with E+n, where E (which stands for Exponent) multiplies the preceding number by 10 to the nth power. For example, a 2-decimal Scientific format displays 12345678901 as 1.23E+10, which is 1.23 times 10 to the 10th power.

  1. Select the cells that you want to format.

ShowHow to select cells, ranges (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.), rows, or columns

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range, and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys. To stop extending the selection, press F8 again.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells, and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection. To stop adding cells or ranges to the selection, press SHIFT+F8 again.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet showing row heading and column heading

 Row heading
 Column heading

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
The first or last cell in a row or column Select a cell in the row or column, and then press CTRL+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).
The first or last cell on a worksheet or in a Microsoft Office Excel table

Press CTRL+HOME to select the first cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list.

Press CTRL+END to select the last cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list that contains data or formatting.

Cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell (active cell: The selected cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The active cell is bounded by a heavy border.) and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

 Tip   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.


  1. On the Home tab, click the Dialog Box Launcher Button image next to Number.

Number group on Excel Ribbon

  1. In the Category list, click Scientific.
  2. In the Decimal places box, enter the number of decimal places that you want to display.

 Tip   The number that is in the active cell of the selection on the worksheet appears in the Sample box so that you can preview the number formatting options that you select.

 Notes 

  • To quickly format a number in scientific notation, click Scientific in the Number Format box (Home tab, Number group). The default for scientific notation is two decimal places.
  • A number format does not affect the actual cell value that Excel uses to perform calculations. The actual value is displayed in the formula bar (formula bar: A bar at the top of the Excel window that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. Displays the constant value or formula stored in the active cell.).
  • The maximum limit for number precision is 15 digits, so the actual value that is displayed in the formula bar may change for large numbers (more than 15 digits).
  • To reset the number format, click General in the Number Format box (Home tab, Number group). Cells that are formatted with the General format do not use a specific number format. However, the General format does use exponential notation for large numbers (12 or more digits). To remove the exponential notation from large numbers, you can apply a different number format, such as Number.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2007